Monday, June 28, 2010

Temporary Expats

The sad part of my expat life is that many of my foreign friends here in Turkey are not expats; rather, they are just passing through Turkey on their way from Taiwan to Mexico, or from Colombia to Sweden. They are true international teachers, making their way around the world, and they just happened to land in Tarsus for a few years.

Two years ago, it seemed as if all the people I'd just spent a year getting to know suddenly left. Thankfully, a wonderful group of new people arrived; and when they returned for a second year, it seemed a real expat community had been formed. But their two years are up and most of them have decided not to stay, so once again I've had to face the reality that my expat life is not shared with other expats.

However, I don't feel too entitled to complain, since this year we too are leaving, even if we're just relocating to another part of the country. I've heard that many of the foreigners in Istanbul really are expats, even if they never intended to stay, and so I am heartened by the prospect of friendships that won't lead to heartache.

And on another positive note: there's nothing like knowing you're about to say goodbye forever to push you to tie up loose ends -- I finished my painting!

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